Carbine Studios’ LEGO Rocketship House


So, if you’ve been following me on my Model Building Secrets Facebook Page then you know that I went to PAX East in Boston a couple weekends ago. Carbine Studios asked me to create a 4 foot LEGO Rocketship House for them for the upcoming game WildStar Online.

WildStar Model at PAX East 1

Not only did I build a 4 foot version, I built two 1 foot versions and a 3 foot WildStar logo.

Giant Rocketship House Final 1
That’s my 6 foot dinning room table to give you an idea of size.

LEGO Wildstar Logo 4

1 ft LEGO Rocketship House 2

1 ft LEGO Rocketship House 5

Both the little and big LEGO RocketShip House were challenging builds — the larger one was one of the most difficult in my career so far. What made them challenging builds was the organic shape of the RocketShip House itself, and the tiny landing gear that looks cool in a video game, but that doesn’t hold a big round heavy body that well in real world physics. 😀

On the smaller model, the way I figured out how to design and build the round organic shape was by designing the nose of the ship first and then building from the middle out, using a ton of cheese slopes in the process.

I solved the weight distribution problem by creating clear pillars. In the little one the pillars are barely noticeable, but in the larger one, I had to make them sturdy and strong to hold the 50 pounds — 50,000 LEGO bricks — that was the larger model.

WildStar Model at PAX East 3

The 4 foot version of the Rocketship House is a doubled up version of the 1 foot model. Basically what I did was take every part on the small one and multiply it by 4 in length, width and height. So in actuality, the larger one is 64 times bigger than the smaller one!

Another challenge with the larger one was that they wanted me to build it onsite at PAX East. Now normally this would mean starting from the base and building up, but for this particular model, that wouldn’t have worked and there would have been no way that I could have built it in the 3 days of the event. One of the main problems were all those lovely cheese slopes on the smaller model. A lot of them are sideways. At first when I tried to build the larger version I was building straight up, but it wasn’t working. To properly represent all the cheese slopes on the smaller model, I would have to build them sideways as well.

So I came up with a building technique I’d never done before and had never seen done in a building event — I made all the giant “cheese slopes” as panels that I would build onto a central core —

WildStar Model at PAX East 4

This isn’t the greatest picture, but its the only one I have of the central core without all the panels on, and without the side engines and tail wings.

The coolest thing was that Carbine Studios created a time lapse video of me building the model so you can get an idea of the process

Both the large LEGO model and a check for $10,000 was donated to Child’s Play Charity

Carbine Studios® made a special donation to Child’s Play, a game industry charity dedicated to improving the lives of children with toys and games in its network of 90 hospitals worldwide. Carbine Studios partnered with LEGO® artist and instructor Mariann Asanuma to bring a WildStar® Rocket House, an exclusive in-game item only available through pre-order, to life with 50,000 LEGOs. The sculpture, standing nearly three feet high and four feet long, will be auctioned off at the annual Child’s Play Dinner and Auction taking place later this year, with proceeds going to the partner hospitals and facilities in the Child’s Play network.

In addition to the LEGO sculpture, a $10,000 check was also presented to Child’s Play which will be donated to the Boston Children’s Hospital and the University of Massachusetts Children’s Medical Center.

“Child’s Play is deeply grateful for the support of Carbine Studios and the WildStar team,” said Jamie Dillon, program coordinator and development, Child’s Play. “Creative, gamer-focused fundraising is the cornerstone of Child’s Play and we’re honored to be the recipient of both an incredible donation for two of our network hospitals as well as a work of LEGO art to be featured in our annual auction. These donations will allow us to provide video games to children who are in need of distraction, empowerment, entertainment and more. The contributions have a positive impact on the lives of hundreds of sick kids, and we are so grateful to Carbine Studios and WildStar for their donation.”

“We wanted to not only find a fun way to bring a small piece of WildStar to life, but also see the efforts go to a good cause,” said Mona Hamilton, vice president of brands, Carbine Studios. “Child’s Play is a wonderful charity doing really great things with the gaming industry and we’re looking forward to seeing the result of the auction later this year. It was also important for us to say thanks by giving back to the Boston community; they’ve been great to us over the years at PAX East.”

It was a fun build and an awesome experience to be a part of. 🙂

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10 Responses to “Carbine Studios’ LEGO Rocketship House”

  1. RustyPatti Says:

    very cool

  2. Purple Dave Says:

    C’mon, this is old news! I read about it a week ago!

    Well, I actually did read about it a week ago, but I can’t remember where. Obviously that article didn’t go into as much detail.

    For myself, since I tend to build fairly small models, and I design most of them in LDraw, I actually design a lot of my models from the outside in. It does pose some interesting problems, though, since I have to selectively hide parts to see where I have to fill in the hollow spaces. Every now and then I miss one, which I discover when building the rough model (lots of substituted colors when I’m missing the right parts), but usually it’s just a matter of dropping another piece in and it’s good to go. Sometimes I have to redesign on the fly, which gets interesting.

    Anyways, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a spaceship out of you before, and judging by the pics you posted, the larger one would qualify as a SHIP.

    • Mariann Asanuma Says:

      Well, yes, it is a little “old news,” but I was waiting for the timelapse video, which just was posted yesterday. I don’t build spaceships normally, but that doesn’t mean I can’t 😉

      And the larger one is certainly a S.H.I.P. — its over 150 studs long, weighs 50 pounds and has about 50,000 parts.

  3. Mike Taylor Says:

    That is really awesome Mariann! Hopefully some day we can meet, I would love to shake your hand and pat you on the back for all the great work you do!

    Tikirobot TexLUG Houston

  4. TheBrickBlogger Says:

    Thanks for posting this Mariann! These are exactly the details I was curious to know; how did you work out the shape, and how were you able to build the ships so fast! Also, a question; did you build the ship at home, then take it apart, then rebuild it at PAX? Did you actually have to build it part by part, or did you keep some sections together (like the large cheese slope sections you mentioned). And how did you remember where everything goes? Did you have printed out instructions for yourself?

    I’m publishing a post about the PAX event next Tuesday as they also sent me the press-release. I’m directing our readers over to your blog to learn more. I’m so impressed with your building skills! 🙂


  5. Mariann Asanuma Says:

    I built the ship at my studio. The smaller one took 1 1/2 weeks, the larger one took 3 weeks. And then I shipped it, with all the panels on to Boston. When I got there I labeled each panel with a code so I knew where they were on the model. So that when I built it onsite I knew exactly where everything went. I didn’t make printed instructions, as that would have been way too time consuming.

    • TheBrickBlogger Says:

      Thanks, Mariann, very interesting. The video goes so fast it is hard to see everything you are doing. Hope you make it to BrickWorld Tampa later this year! Would love to meet you in person. 🙂

  6. Mariann Asanuma Says:

    I’m thinking about BrickWorld Tampa, but not sure yet, its still a long way off.

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